Contact TedLaw at 602-453-3100 or reach out online for a free consultation or to establish a formal attorney-client relationship. We are available 24/7 to provide legal advice and support.
Arizona Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney
AFFORDABLE & EXPERIENCED LAWYER
Growing up comes with its fair share of mistakes and poor decisions, especially for children who are still navigating their way through life. Unfortunately, some of these missteps can lead to serious legal consequences at an inopportune time. In the state of Arizona, minors who commit criminal offenses fall under the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system. If found guilty in juvenile court, they may face significant penalties such as probation, fines, restitution, community service, and even time in a juvenile correctional facility. These consequences can be overwhelming for a child, and it is unfair for them to bear such heavy penalties for youthful indiscretions.
If your child is currently facing juvenile charges in Arizona, it is crucial to seek the assistance of a skilled juvenile crimes attorney without delay. At TedLaw, our team of criminal defense attorneys in Phoenix has extensive experience in juvenile law and Arizona law as a whole. We approach these cases with compassion and always prioritize the best interests of your child. To arrange a complimentary consultation with one of our Phoenix juvenile criminal defense attorneys, please contact TedLaw at 602-453-3100 today.
Differentiating Between Delinquent Acts and Juvenile Crimes
When children are accused of committing crimes, they are typically treated differently than adults. In many cases, the offense falls under the category of a “status offense,” which includes actions such as truancy, disobedience to parental orders, running away, certain behavioral difficulties, or actions that are considered illegal when performed by a child but are not necessarily criminal in nature. On other occasions, juveniles may engage in criminal offenses that are classified as “delinquent acts.”
Understanding Incorrigibility Crimes
One particular category of crimes applicable to juvenile offenders is “incorrigibility.” As minors do not possess the same legal rights as adults, they are expected to comply with orders given by their legal custodians, which can include parents, guardians, or even school teachers. However, these orders must be lawful and reasonable. A minor who refuses to obey authority or follow these lawful orders may be deemed “incorrigible.” Incorrigibility involves more than just occasional disobedience or tantrums. Under Arizona law, an incorrigible juvenile is typically defined as one who is “truancy, runaway, refuses to obey a parent or guardian, violates curfew, or smokes cigarettes” (ARS § 8-201).
Determining the Age of a Juvenile in Arizona
When a minor commits a delinquent act in Arizona, they fall under the jurisdiction of the state’s juvenile courts. These courts maintain authority over minors until they reach the age of eighteen, which is the legal age of consent in Arizona. Consequently, individuals aged 14 to 17 are considered juveniles.
The Role of a Juvenile Defense Attorney in Phoenix
Insights into Arizona’s Juvenile Laws When a child faces criminal charges while still a minor, the case is handled within the realm of juvenile law. Although Arizona’s juvenile laws bear similarities to the adult judicial system, there are distinct differences. While the adult criminal system predominantly focuses on punitive measures like incarceration, the juvenile system emphasizes rehabilitative solutions.
Title 8, Chapters 2 & 3 of the Arizona Revised Statutes provide valuable information about juvenile court proceedings and state laws pertaining to juvenile offenders. Chapter 2 encompasses Arizona’s juvenile court and includes articles concerning:
- General Provisions
- General Procedure
- Juvenile Hearings
- Dispositions and Commitment
- Family Counseling Programs
- Children’s Mental Health Services
- Juvenile Competency
Additionally, seven articles specifically address juvenile offenders, covering topics such as:
- General Procedures for Delinquency and Incorrigibility Proceedings
- Delinquency and Alcohol Offense Complaints and Hearings
- Disposition and Commitment
- Juvenile Intensive Probation
- Interstate Compact for Juveniles
- Educational Rehabilitation
- Victim’s Rights for Juvenile Offenses
Various Types of Juvenile Offenses
Youthful individuals, despite their age, are not immune to committing crimes or facing penalties. Some juvenile crimes are specific to the age of the child, as mentioned earlier with “status offenses.” Other crimes closely resemble those committed by adults and are known as “delinquent acts.” Common delinquent acts seen by our Arizona criminal defense attorneys include:
- Property damage and disorderly conduct such as graffiti, egging, or breaking windows
- Sexual offenses such as sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, or sexting (child pornography)
- Assault, including physical violence such as fighting or mugging
- Larceny, which involves theft crimes like shoplifting, robbery, or burglary
- Probation violation
- Alcohol-related offenses like minor in possession (MIP), minor in consumption (MIC), underage DUI, or disorderly conduct under the influence
- Juvenile drug crimes, encompassing drug possession, distribution, paraphernalia, or felony drug offenses committed by minors
- Weapons charges
Punishment for Juvenile Crimes in Arizona
If your child is found guilty of a crime within Arizona’s juvenile justice system, they may face various penalties. These penalties can include community service, fines, restitution, intensive probation, or confinement in a juvenile correctional facility. The severity of the consequences depends on the specific details of the offense.
In adult criminal law trials, guilt or innocence is generally determined by a jury. However, in juvenile crimes, the ruling is typically made by a judge alone. Mandatory sentencing is uncommon in these cases, and most juveniles charged with delinquency are eligible for “pre-filing diversion.” These programs aim to prevent repeat offenses while still imposing consequences such as community service, reparations, or counseling.
Can a Juvenile Face Felony Charges?
According to ARS § 13-501, any juvenile aged 14 to 17 may face felony charges at the adult level for certain serious crimes. Additionally, if they have a prior felony-level charge on their record, a felony charge may be warranted. Whether or not juvenile defendants will be tried as adults is generally at the judge’s discretion. Some offenses that may lead to juvenile cases being transferred to the adult criminal justice system include violent crimes such as:
- First-degree murder
- Second-degree murder
- Armed robbery
- Forcible sexual assault
- Other violent felony offenses
Therefore, depending on the severity of the crime and whether the minor is considered a “chronic felony offender,” it is possible for your child to be tried as an adult and receive a felony charge on their record. Although the number of situations where juvenile offenses are dealt with by the adult criminal justice system is decreasing, it is still crucial to have a skilled juvenile defense attorney by your side. Considering all the consequences of an alleged juvenile crime, it is vital to work with an esteemed and experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney like Ted Agnick, who can significantly reduce your child’s penalties.
Punishment for Juvenile Misdemeanors
The penalties your child may face for a misdemeanor offense depend on the severity of the offense and their prior record. Potential consequences include:
- Community service
- Fines and restitution
- Confinement in a juvenile correctional facility
Punishment for Juvenile Felonies
If your child is tried and convicted at the adult level for a felony offense, they will face the same penalties as an adult. For serious Arizona felonies resulting in homicide, the sentence can range from a few months to over 20 years in jail. That is why it is crucial for minors facing felony charges to have the best possible juvenile criminal defense lawyer by their side. It can make all the difference for your child’s future.
What to Do if Your Child Faces Criminal Charges
While there are differences between prosecuting adult criminal cases and juvenile cases, minors still have the right to obtain a defense attorney. At TedLaw, our Arizona juvenile defense lawyers provide the best legal counsel to children and their families. We defend juveniles in detention hearings, evidentiary hearings, trials, and probation violation hearings. Our goal is to secure a dismissed case, reduced sentence, suspension of prosecution, or placement in alternative rehabilitation programs for our clients.
If your child has been arrested and faces delinquency charges, a status offense, or has been taken into custody, contact Phoenix juvenile crimes attorney Ted Agnick immediately. He can help you understand your child’s rights as well as your own rights as a parent or guardian. Ted Agnick offers honest, compassionate legal guidance and skilled representation throughout your child’s case and the entire legal process.
The Cost of a Juvenile Lawyer
It is challenging to provide an exact cost for a defense lawyer’s services as it depends on various factors, including the attorney, state, and case specifics. Each attorney has their own billing structure, such as hourly rates or case-based fees, and may require an upfront retainer. Costs for criminal defense attorneys can range from a few hundred dollars to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the circumstances.
Criminal Defense Attorney for Juvenile Crimes in Arizona
When a minor is charged with a criminal offense, the consequences can be severe. It is crucial not to let one reckless mistake define the rest of your child’s life. To have the best chance of reducing potential penalties and minimizing damage to their future, you need experienced legal counsel by your side. Ted Agnick, a skilled Phoenix juvenile crimes attorney, can provide the necessary guidance.
Ted Agnick is a renowned trial attorney with years of experience in juvenile law and other criminal defense matters in the Phoenix area. He is familiar with juvenile court procedures and can create a strong defense for your child. Contact TedLaw at 602-453-3100 or reach out online for a free consultation or to establish a formal attorney-client relationship. We are available 24/7 to provide legal advice and support.